A payroll fraud conspiracy involving the California Department of General Services’ custodial supervisor and the custodian was allegedly carried out by the two for four years.
The California state auditor revealed the scheme’s specifics after a tip-off from a concerned citizen brought the matter to the auditor’s attention.
In the audit, the Department of General Services is not mentioned, but how state officials carried out the suspected fraud is detailed.
The supervisor would receive the custodian’s compensation every month on payday. Once they were separated, the two would meet up somewhere else. The cheque would be cashed by the custodian, and then the two would share the cash. Over four years, starting in 2016, the custodian was compensated for tasks that he failed to perform.
Managers of the building where the alleged plot was carried out neglected to keep an eye on the two suspects. According to the auditor’s findings, they were able to pull off the heist because of the monitoring gap.
Unearned benefits totaled $185,000 for this employee.
Due to the absence of oversight, the two were able to include an office technician in their plan, resulting in an extra $52,000 to $98,000 in timecard fraud.
As a result of the enormous monetary amount and the seriousness of the fraud, the Department of General Services turned the abuses over to California’s Department of Justice in January of 2021 for criminal investigation. However, when the auditor’s office inquired about the current status of the investigations during their audit, the DOJ responded that the investigations had been closed.
Cases were closed with no explanation given as to why they had been canceled. Due to the seriousness of the crime and a large amount of money involved, the Department of General Services personnel might face a felony charge if convicted.
Multiple complaints concerning timecard abuse led to these results. As a result, according to the auditor, the state was overcharged by $284,000 in wrongful pay and benefits as a result of the monitoring gap.